LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A new study shows that cooking with a gas stove could be contributing to indoor air pollution.

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Scientists with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that during the winter months, households using gas burners weekly without venting range hoods were exposed to high levels of air pollutants.

The study, which was based on data from half of the homes in Southern California, showed levels of nitrogen dioxide so high that they exceeded outdoor standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency for short-term exposures.

“It’s really based on modeling and simulation assessment rather than an actual in-home measurement, so it’s really kinda of an incomplete science,” said Denise King of the Southern California Gas Company

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While the study’s research scientists agree there is still much more to learn, Jennifer Logue, one of the authors, said in a statement, “We don’t want to scare anyone away from cooking, we just want them to remember to cook in a safe manner and use their range hoods.”

Santa Monica resident Carolyn Hammersly uses her ventilating range hood, but is not convinced it’s efficient.

“It doesn’t pull the air very strongly … when you see steam coming up from a pan,” she said.

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CBS2’s Louisa Hodge reported that experts recommended cooking on the stove’s back burners, because they are closer to the ventilation system.